Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday sat on a dharna at a wayside shop demanding the arrest of Students Federation of India (SFI) activists who protested against him in Nilamel in Kollam district.
Arif Mohammed Khan got out of his vehicle and took a chair from the shop on the busy MC Road in Nilamel and sat demanding action against the protesters. Dramatic visuals aired on TV channels showed a visibly angry Khan talking tough to the police personnel. Besides police officials, Khan's officials and local people gathered in large numbers at the spot
Several activists of the ruling CPI(M)'s students' wing SFI staged a black flag protest against the Governor when he was on his way to nearby Kottarakkara for a function, news agency PTI reported.
The Kerala governor and the Left government have been at loggerheads over several issues, primarily about the functioning of universities in the state and his non-signing of certain bills passed by the assembly.
Amid the face-off, on Thursday, Khan had finished his customary policy address to the Kerala assembly within two minutes, reading out only the last paragraph.
On Friday, neither chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his cabinet colleagues nor LDF MLAs turned up for the 'at home' event hosted at the Raj Bhavan. PTI reported that the CM, ministers and MLAs were invited to the event held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, but none of them came. The Kerala government was represented by the general administration department, additional chief secretary KR Jyothilal.
During the Republic Day celebrations at the Central Stadium in the state capital, Khan and Vijayan were seen ignoring each other, even though they were sitting side-by-side.